Feature Story #3 - Rebecca Ann Fabick

Rebecca Fabick
May 2, 2013
Jour 102- section 6
Poll story Final
Following the Newtown, Conn. Virginia Tech and Tucson, Ariz. shootings, the Obama
administration has been pushing for tighter gun laws.
Fifty-four percent of Americans agree, according to the poll. New York Times story
conducted by CBS News poll last April and majority of Oxford, Miss. residents
matched America’s response.
This informal poll was conducted in March 2013 by The Meek School of Journalism
and New Media at The University of Mississippi. The question asked went as
follows: “Should there be legal limits on the kinds of guns people can buy and
possess?” With 162 total answers, 63 percent said yes, 27 percent responded no and
1 in 10 were undecided.
Many participants agreed that there is no need to own a semi-automatic weapon.
“People shouldn’t need such powerful guns, like why do they need something that
strong?” said Jasmine Cross, 19, forensic chemistry major at Ole Miss.
“Yes, semi-automatic weapons are more of a war weapon than a hunting weapon,”
said Wayne Terry Lamar, 74, retired orthopedic surgeon.
Even in a red state like Mississippi with strong roots in hunting, opinions would be
swayed towards tighter gun control.
“People should have the right to have hunting guns or hand guns, but they should
not have the ability to buy military weapons,” said Mackenzie Spriggs, 20, art history
major at Ole Miss.
Some respondents doubted that a new law would be effective.
“Yes, there should be limits. People should not have automatic machine guns or
weapons more powerful than the army,” said Kyle Rice, 19, biology major at Ole
Miss. “But criminals are not going to follow the law anyway.”
For this respondent it is not about the gun but the buyer.
“I think in the light of this past year a background check, psychological analysis and
reasons should be given to buy guns,” said Cara Wigmore, 20, marketing and
management major at Ole Miss.
The National Rifle Association is opposed to any further restrictions. They say we
should enforce the laws we already have. Unfortunately, majority of Americans
agree furthered limits will benefit so the NRA may be pushed to make changes.
“Yes, there should be some sort of gun restrictions. Nothing drastic, but some very
lax limits.” said Kate Schwarze, 20, biology major at Loyola of Chicago.
Some voters disagree with tighter gun laws for them it means contradicting the
Constitution. These voters prefer the Second Amendment to remain untouched.
“I think any tampering with the Second Amendment should be done with great care
and with full intent awareness with the framers of the constitution,” said Cyril
Rosenblatt, 58, political science teacher at Ole Miss. “Any effort to disarm the people
should be done with clear understanding.”
“If you have the financial ability you have the right to own a weapon. I believe as our
country is “free” an individual should be free to own as many guns as they prefer,”
said Michael Smith, worker at Smith Building Supply Inc.
The debate over guns continues. But in red-state Mississippi, a majority of Oxford
residents think it is time for the law to draw the line somewhere. With majority of
Americans agreeing with the Obama administration this could possibly force the
NRA and other organizations to change current gun laws.